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Tech meets tradition

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-16 08:00

Qiao Xue hosts a livestreaming program on Douyin, or TikTok, to promote the traditional leather crafts.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Hundreds of documentaries about intangible cultural heritage can be watched for free on major streaming platforms, including Youku, Tencent and iQiyi. Video-sharing platforms popular among young people such as Bilibili and TikTok set up special sections to invite viewers to share their own videos related to intangible cultural heritage.

Since 2006, as part of the central government's efforts to promote intangible cultural heritage, 1,372 items were put on a "protection list", covering folk literature, traditional music, crafts, sports and folk customs. National-level inheritors, most of whom are elderly, will be supported by the government, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Xiao Jun, a researcher at the media development studies center in Wuhan University, says video-sharing platforms play an important role in protecting and promoting intangible cultural heritage. A lack of artisans has pushed some forms to the brink of extinction. "Videos help to revitalize traditional crafts."

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